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On ESPN’s Super Bowl XLV postgame show, Steve Young was adamant that Aaron Rodgers’ performance last night was among the greatest of all time. Tom Jackson echoed the sentiment, and added that if the Packers hadn’t dropped four of Rodgers’ throws he would have ended up with far superior numbers, approaching 400 yards and four touchdowns.
The numbers don’t quite support Young and Jackson’s beliefs, and the Packers offence was stagnant during most of the third quarter when the Steelers launched their comeback, but Rodgers’ performance was memorable nonetheless.
Here are some reactions to Rodgers’ MVP night:
- “He doesn’t stop. His WRs dropped some big passes and he took hits—clean, solid hits—for the majority of the night, but he kept throwing the football. The first TD pass to Jordy Nelson he throws to the up field shoulder in a position that prevents the DB from making a play (even with solid coverage). Plus, what I view as the biggest play of the night, Rodgers hit Greg Jennings on an inside seam route vs. 2-Man on 3rd down that was threaded vs. trail-man technique (DB sits inside and plays on the hip of the WR). You can’t throw the football better than that on those two plays.” – Matt Bowen, National Football Post
- “It’s hard to overstate how well Rodgers played in this postseason — he had a 110.7 rating in four games, none at home. He has officially made anyone but residents of southern Mississippi realise just how smart a decision the Packers made when they stuck to their guns and chose Rodgers over Favre as the starting quarterback in the summer of 2008.” – Peter King, Sports Illustrated
- “Aaron Rodgers’ numbers aren’t in the Phil Simms/Joe Montana realm — 24-for-39, 304 yards, three touchdowns — but if his receivers had caught everything he put on their hands, he would have had one of those alltime Super Bowl stat lines. Rodgers’ bigger achievement was controlling the tempo and the emotional flow of the game. He got rid of the ball quickly and threw the ball away when he had to so the Steelers’ pass rush couldn’t gain momentum. After his MVP performance, Rodgers now belongs in the same conversation with Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger as one of the great quarterbacks in the NFL.” – Andrew Perloff, Sports Illustrated
- “In one game’s time, Rodgers lost all the weight that comes duct-taped to the shoulder pads of a Packers quarterback. You could almost see his posture instantly improve. If nothing else, his postgame smile was as wide as one of the Cowboys Stadium end zones.” – Gene Wojciechowksi, ESPN
- “With one brilliant postseason, Rodgers has validated the decision to select him in the first round of the 2005 draft.” – Mac Engel, The Kansas City Star
- “Rodgers has the talent and supporting cast to do the rarest thing in sports. He might not only replace a legend. He might eventually outshine him.” – Steve Politi, The Star-Ledger
- “Rodgers, with an often-brilliant display of prodigious arm strength, quick release and pinpoint passing, delivered the franchise its 13th NFL championship.” – Jon Saraceno, USA Today
- “It’s no longer a matter of whether Aaron Rodgers can simply replace Brett Favre as Packers quarterback. Now, it’s a matter of whether he will surpass him one day as an iconic figure in the NFL’s most storied of venues.” – Mark Craig, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
- “Rodgers made the plays you always dream about making in the game of your life.” – Mike Lupica, New York Daily News
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